New Delhi: Australian speedster Ryan Harris failed his fitness test on Wednesday before Australia's four-day tour match against Essex. The latest setback, in an injury prone career, means that the 35-year-old is effectively out of the first Ashes test against host England starting July 8.
A long-standing knee injury flared up again in their warm-up win over Kent, wherein he spelled 30 overs taking four wickets.
Harris, despite the lingering injury concern, made himself available for the Ashes after missing Australia's recent tour of West Indies - to attend the birth of his son, Carter. The last time he played for Australia was against India, in the tour's final Test in January.
However, the visiting Australian team has enough pace options at their disposal to cope with Harris' unavailability.
But Harris's exploits in the Ashes are rather well known. The right-arm fast bowler has taken 46 wickets in his previous two series against England.
In Harris' absence, Australia are likely to employ a three-prong pace attack in Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. The trio will be supported by spinner Nathan Lyon, who recently claimed to have developed his own mystery delivery.